The Runaway Year
Author: Shani Struthers
Release date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
Dumped by her hotshot boyfriend and boss, Layla Lewis quits her job and heads to Trecastle to house-sit for a friend. Trecastle isn’t new to her; it’s a place where she holidayed regularly with her now-estranged mother. It’s also the home of Hannah McKenzie,her childhood friend. Hannah has tempted her with a place to live and a job in the local pub. Needing time to nurse her battered heart and escape her "real life" for a year, Layla accepts.
Hannah is a talented artist as well as a barmaid. She lives in the village center with her boyfriend Jim, a singer in a local band. They are happy together, or as happy they can be, considering. Hannah loves Jim, but there is someone she loves more: her old boyfriend Joseph Scott, who is also Jim’s best friend and soon to be Layla’s neighbor.
I gave The Runaway Year 3.5 leaves! This book was a great summer read. Very light and it went by very quickly. I was so jealous of Layla and her getaway to Trecastle. If it could really be considered a getaway seeing as she was asked to housesit a beach house there for a year. But come on, she gets to live on a beach! With a hot guy next door! And she writes to her heart’s content. That is the life. I’ll admit, it took a while for me to get into the story, but once Layla goes to Trecastle, I was hooked. I had to see what would happen between her and Joseph!
Well, there’s a lot more drama than how I previously described Layla’s situation. And I mean a LOT of drama. Actually, I think I threw my iPad at one point while reading. But, It’s just so frustrating! So much tension, because Layla can’t make up her mind about Joseph. I can’t understand for the life of me why she thinks she loves Alex when she has Joseph right in front of her. She is so stubborn, which is a trait I fully understand, but still, she doesn’t listen to anyone! And then, her best friend, don’t even get me started on her. She drove me insane. Penny cheated on her amazing husband with Dylan, so they’re rocky, of course. And then she thinks it’s okay to go and get even more attention from him while her husband is cold towards her for cheating?! That has bad idea written all over it, and I am an expert on bad decisions. I was shaking my head every time the story switched to her point of view. I mean I’ve never been married or anything, but Penny doesn’t handle her marriage situation well at all. Another thing about her was her incessant flirting! She even flirted with Joseph. Although Layla and Joseph were not talking more than they were in the book, as a best friend, Penny should have seen that they were into each other and respected that. It’s okay though, because Penny gets her stuff together at the end and has a happily ever after. Hannah made me sad at times. She had an amazing relationship with Jim, but it took her forever to realize that she loved him back just as much. It didn’t frustrate me as much as the other two did, but that might have been because we spend the least amount of time in her shoes.All three girls have a bad case of having their head up their butts; yet, by the end we do fall in love with all of them. The Runaway Year has a happy ending all around. The way the story is written just makes it flow and it’s all dream-like. I could just imagine it all in my head like a movie. I want to visit Trecastle so bad! Maybe I’ll find my Joseph there too. I highly recommend this book as one of your summer reads, especially for those into chick lit! And I’m looking forward to more of Shani Struthers’ work!
One of those rare creatures—a true Brightonian—Shani was born and bred in the sunny seaside town of Brighton on the UK’s south-coast. One of the first literary conundrums she had to deal with was her own name: Shani can be pronounced in a variety of ways, but in this instance, it’s Shay-nee not Shar-ney or Shan-ni, although she does indeed know a Shanni—just to confuse matters further! Hobbies include reading, writing, eating, and drinking—all four of which keep her busy enough. After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in English and American Literature, Shani landed a job at a well-known holiday company. Although employed as a Brochure Production Executive, she promptly reinvented herself as a Copywriter, a new position they were happy (if a tad bewildered) to concede to. At twenty-four, Shani became a freelance copywriter and has been one ever since, in-between writing novels, that is. Contemporary romance The Runaway Year is her first book and set between Brighton and North Cornwall, the latter a home-from-home for Shani, her husband, and three lovely kids. She also has a penchant for Glastonbury, another magical place, and don’t even get her started on Scotland—we’d be here all day!